Limiting the Impact of the Bankruptcy on the Non-Filing Spouse in MN

Posted by Col Ovik on June 14, 2021 at 6:45 AM
Col Ovik

A man and a woman sit next to each other on a grey couch, each holding one-half of a torn white piece of paper with a black dollar sign on it, representing limiting the impact of the bankruptcy on the non-filing spouse.Bankruptcy provides an avenue for an individual to address their debt. It can provide a lot of relief. But, not everyone needs to or should file bankruptcy. What happens when only one of the partners in a marriage needs to file bankruptcy? The first question that needs to be addressed is, does the other spouse have any debt where it would make sense for them to file as well.

If only one spouse files and the other spouse continues to struggle with debt have you really solved the debt issue? Then, I would review any transfers between the spouses which could be problematic for the filing spouse. If there are no transfer issues and no debt for the non-filing spouse, then a married individual may file alone.

Impact of Bankruptcy on the Non-Filing Spouse

When a married debtor is filing alone many times there is a want to limit the impact on the non-filing spouse. While the non-filing spouse’s involvement is limited, there are still financial disclosures that must be made. The household income needs to be disclosed and this includes the non-filing spouse’s income. The household income will dictate the type of bankruptcy a debtor is eligible to file.

For example, if the debtor is unemployed and has no income but the non-filing spouse grosses $15,000 monthly, this income will influence the bankruptcy. While the non-filing spouse’s involvement is limited there are certain financial pieces that will be measured.

Should I Divorce My Non-Filing Spouse for Purposes of Bankruptcy?

This leads to a question I have heard on more than one occasion. The idea of divorcing the non-filing spouse for the purposes of the bankruptcy. Essentially what the debtor is proposing here is to divorce their non-filing spouse with the intent to defraud creditors.

The facts are the facts so instead of trying to spin a false narrative, a better option is to work with the existing facts and come up with the best solution. The bankruptcy is designed to help debtors with their debt. But those that try to game the system to put themselves in what they think is a better position may end up damaging their case.


There are times when it makes sense for a married debtor to file alone. The non-filing spouse’s contributions are limited, but they will be required to make certain financial disclosures. Contact the attorneys at LifeBack Law and see us at formerly You will be glad you did!

Topics: Bankruptcy Fraud

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